Groundhog Day Storm

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Wednesday, February 2, 2011 - 10:48am

A wicked winter storm whips eastward, as groundhog day fans wait to see how much longer winter will grip the nation.

This is what a blizzard looked like overnight in Chicago. Winds were between 25-30 miles per hour with gusts to 50. Snow was blowing sideways as people tried to get where they were going through almost white out conditions.

But while snow in some places may be measured in feet, the impacts of this colossal storm will be measured against history.

Michelann Ooten of Oklahoma State Emergency Management said,” I can't urge enough for people to stay home and off the roads."

Some learned that lesson the hard way.

Many air travelers went nowhere with at least 20 percent of flights in the U.S already cancelled for today.

Even in Dallas as thousands were preparing for the big game, they found themselves battling a big freeze.

An estimated one hundred million people live in this storm's path and are now facing dangerous ice, driving snow and what could be debilitating power outages that could last for days.

FEMA Director Craig Fugate said, "When you combine that with the size of the storm, it was potentially going to get to the point where states were going to need assistance just to be able to respond."

FEMA is already positioned in almost a dozen states, the National Guard standing by in others and for many making it through the snow and sleet is just the first step.

Temperatures are expected to plunge behind the storm.

In Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania…home to the time honored tradition of Groundhog Day, the faithful prepared for the storm and what they say is the final word on whether this historic winter could possibly have more in store.

Groundhog fan Pam Merkin said, "No shadow! Early spring!"
 

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